Love the look of Roman shades but not sure what style to pick for your home? Nate Berkus just shared his top window-dressing tips

A go-to window treatment of Nate's, Roman shades are classic and timeless. This is how he suggests selecting the right style for your own home

(Image credit: Future; Getty Images)

With summer quickly approaching (and warm weather already here), it's the perfect time to take stock of your window treatments and consider some upgrades. Keeping the sun at bay prevents your carefully designed and styled home from being too hot to enjoy. And though the need for shade is universal, making the right choice for your specific space can prove quite the challenge.

From shutters to window blind ideas, the types of treatment on the market are nearly endless, and the vast range of colors and patterns available only complicates the process. But if you've narrowed down your search to Roman shades, you're halfway there – and famed interior designer Nate Berkus is here to help with the rest. He just shared his no-fail guide to selecting the style of Roman shade that will work best with your whole home's design scheme.

These are his top window treatment tips for a cool, stylish summer.

How to select a Roman shade style for your home

Interior design is a very personal process, and the process of picking out curtains and blinds is no exception. Nate shares that 'pretty much every designer has their own take and their own opinion, sort of their go-to when it comes to figuring out window treatments.'

He says he's received quite a few questions about the selection process – a fact that comes as no surprise given the designer's recent collection with The Shade Store. Because he's had quite a bit of practice picking out the best of the best, Nate's now sharing his 'cheat sheet for your windows at home.'

According to Nate, the first step is distinguishing between the two main types of Roman shade: inside and outside mount. Inside-mounted shades will sit in between the window frame, only covering the window itself. Outside-mounted shades will extend a bit further, giving a clean look that covers the entire window and frame. Though the look of the latter might be a bit more streamlined, Nate says he prefers an inside-mounted Roman shade because of their ability to block light more effectively.

'It's great for room darkening, because... the shade sits inside the window frame, not on the mounting of the frame, which means that you don't get a lot of light on the sides,' says Nate.

living room window with roman blinds

(Image credit: Future)

Whether you're on board with Nate's rationale or not, you'll next be tasked with selecting a style. Nate says it doesn't matter much whether you choose automatic or manual shades – it's the shape and style that really counts. When it comes to aesthetics, there are two main styles to choose from.

'There are two types of Roman shades, really. One is a flat fold – that means the line goes straight across on the bottom. And the other is more of a balloon shade, or a relaxed shade, which means that it swoops because the fabric is not as tight,' says Nate.

Kifsgate Ink Roman blind in a small kitchen

(Image credit: James Hare)

Though it'll differ for every home, Nate says his go-to style is an inside-mounted, motorized shade. From there, assess your interior design style and decide which fold will suit it best. While a relaxed fold will add character and extra design flair, traditional homes may benefit from the sleeker, cleaner style that flat folds offer.

'If you want it more tailored, a flat fold. If you want it a little bit looser and more romantic, a relaxed Roman,' Nate concludes.

If you've made up your mind, you won't have to look far to fulfill your Roman shade dreams – Nate's collection with The Shade Store boasts 23 materials and over 70 colors. And if you're not quite sold on the Roman shades but want to update your window treatments for summer, roller shades, drapery, cornices, and pillows are also on offer.

The impact of considered, controlled natural lighting can't be understated, and Nate's advice practically guarantees you won't get lost in the purchasing process.

Abby Wilson
Interior Design News Editor

I am an Interior Design News Editor at Homes & Gardens. Most recently, I worked with Better Homes & Gardens, where I wrote and edited content about home decor, gardening tips, food news, and more. Before that, I studied Journalism and English Literature at New York University. I’ve moved around quite a bit in the last several years, most recently making the trip to London, and love transforming each new space into a comfortable retreat that feels like home. When it comes to decor, I’m most drawn to unique vintage finds and calming colors.